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500 Miles

i’m not sure but i’ve been told

you’re seeing someone new

i can’t believe that i believed

i had some claim on you

 

i decided that you scare me

your head ain’t screwed on right

five hundred miles to be with him

after kissing me goodnite

 

he’s got his story straight this time

i can’t challenge that effect

but to think that he’s impressing you

with a night of booze and sex

 

in ’84 we lost six men

in a blazer on south park

you could see the embers from downtown

as the evening sky grew dark

 

now they’re closing down the firehouse

business has gone dead

if a fire ever reached our home

i’d lie here in my bed

and let the flames burn off my skin

until only bone remained

after years or years of deadened nerves

i could use a little pain

 

my interest in the world’s reduced

i dream of different times

when comedy and truth were one

and i could call you mine

 

now you’re moving far away from me

i can’t handle that effect

did you think that i would change my life?

what did you expect?

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

did you come by your bitterness honestly?

did you come by your bitterness honestly?

if you did, then that’s okay

but if you read it in some storybook

what would your mother say?

take a break, son, from the tortured routine

call that girl on the line and say “what do you need?”

did you come by your bitterness honestly?

if you did, then that’s okay

 

did you come by your loneliness intentionally?

or did it fall right in your lap?

did you wake up one morning and find you’re alone

wondering where she’s at?

you don’t laugh anymore and your eyes, they are tired

and the crap from your mouth: it is less than inspired

did you come by your loneliness intentionally?

or did it fall right in your lap?

 

so long, didn’t think it would be

twenty-six years in a recovery

face down in the bathroom alone

these are the terms of owning a home

 

did you come by your treachery gradually?

or have you always been a jerk?

after years and years of running ‘round

did you think that it could work?

dinner at home and three kids in the yard

do you think that you’re special, your life is so hard?

did you come by your treachery gradually

or have you always been a jerk?

 

so long, didn’t think it would be

twenty-six years in a recovery

face down in the bathroom alone

these are the terms of owning a home

 

did you come by your bitterness honestly?

if you did, then that’s okay

but if you read it in some storybook

what would your mother say?

take a break, son, from the tortured routine

call that girl on the line and say “what do you need?”

did you come by your bitterness honestly? if you did, then that’s okay.

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

if i’m gonna get blamed

if i’m gonna get blamed for being your lover

i might as well be

i could disappoint you and pretend that it’s true

that you’re the only thing that’s important to me

 

i could wake up in the morning and hold you by the shoulders

look in the fridge and pretend that i’m older

than the little kid blues dealing with a woman

who knows what she wants and doesn’t like what she sees

 

you’re lookin’ at me

you’re lookin’ at me

stop lookin’ at me

 

if i’m gonna get blamed for being your son

i might as well be

i could act more grateful and a little less hateful

take a well needed break from the orphan routine

 

i could come to the house, shoot the breeze for a while

act like i’m happy, maybe crack a smile

shake the little boy blues dealing with a woman

who expects a little more than the mess that she sees

 

you’re waitin’ on me

you’re waitin’ on me

quit waitin’ on me

 

if i’m gonna get blamed for being a nice guy

i might as well be

i could spend a touch a time acting kinda kind

give a little something to the people that i meet

 

i could quit holding back trying to be cool

settle in a score, listen to the rules

shake the always sorry blues dealing with a world

that looks me in the eye and laughs at what it sees

 

you’re laughin’ at me

you’re laughin’ at me

quit laughin’ at me

 

if i’m gonna get blamed for being your lover

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

 cracked and crumbled

 cracked and crumbled and christ i know

these words get jumbled and jangled and slow

what i mean to say is i wish that i could hold your hand

we circled each other for years and years

far away at times, others so near

then you give me a shove mumbling something like “ain’t love grand”

 

they shot a man to pieces in the peppermint lounge

i held you on the floor while the bullets whizzed around

did you ever really think i’d let danger sink his teeth into you...

 

“been down so long, looks like up to me”

richard farina, 1963

then his rear axle locked and he died all crumpled up upon the ground

holiday seasons can get sorta rough

suicide gestures but most of ‘em are bluffs

listen to me honey, i know you’re sick and tired of me around

 

with a hitler statuette on the top of your tree

did you think i wouldn’t notice? did you think i would agree?

i like a joke as much as you but don’t you think we went a little far

 

maybe i could stand for a while down the hall

or knock upon the door at the risk of feeling small

gimme back my number, i can’t believe you had it for so long...

 

cracked and crumbled and christ i know

these words get jangled and jumbled and slow

what i mean to say is i wish that i could hold your hand

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

i wish it was the time

 i wish it was the time we went to the beach

i held you in the water, you felt so light

in the hotel room with the tv on

i remember the sand in the bed that nite

 

i wish it was that time again...

 

i wish it was the time i introduced you to my friends

they thought you were so pretty and laughed at your jokes

we went to a diner on the downtown side

i stared at the tablecloth and hardly even spoke

 

i wish it was that time again...

 

i can’t find the words to apologize

this chemical haze makes my mouth feel dry

i wish i had the spit to form the phrase

and tell you that i love you and i have for days and days...

 

i wish it was that time again...

 

i wish it was the time i could talk to you

and tell you my ambitions, the things i want to do

we used to stare at one another like there was something to be seen

it’s easy to fall in love when you’re young and green

 

i wish it was that time again...

 

i can’t find the words to apologize

this chemical haze makes my mouth feel dry

i wish i had the spit to form the phrase

and tell you that i love you and i have for days and days...

 

i wish it was the time we went to the beach...

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

lonely next door

look over here, look over there

nothing here, nothing there

nothing anywhere

that’s the way it goes, that’s the way it goes for me

you think it’s lonely next door

or just as far as my clouded eyes can see

 

running away, running away

left and right and far and wide, running away

tumbling down the stairs, tumbling down the stairs is me

you think it’s lonely next door

or just as far as my clouded eyes can see

 

you think it’s lonely next door

i say take a look son

you think it’s lonely next door

looks like they’re havin’ some fun

they say the grass isn’t greener on the other side

take another peek and you’ll catch ‘em in a lie

 

can’t eat a thing, a blessed little thing

choke it down, it turns around, i can’t eat a thing

swallowing’s so hard, swallowing’s so hard for me

you think it’s lonely next door

or just as far as my clouded eyes can see

 

you think it’s lonely next door

i say take a look son

you think it’s lonely next door

looks like they’re havin’ some fun

they say the grass isn’t greener on the other side

take another peek and you’ll catch ‘em in a lie

 

listen goodbye, listen goodbye

shout it out and cry and cry, listen goodbye

the hardest words to say, the hardest words to say for me

you think it’s lonely next door

or just as far as my clouded eyes can see

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

misery loves company

 the wherewithal, you never had the wherewithal

to know the dreams that mean so much to me

to scratch below and for a moment you may know

something that most folks can never see

 

chorus:

misery loves company but company hates misery

as much as i may want to, i can no longer smile

the thought of you depresses me

i hope you won’t think less of me

i only wish to pass away these moments of my life

 

your earnest face: i never saw your earnest face

without thinking to myself what could this really mean

could she be real? could another really feel

emotion for these tired tested scenes?

 

chorus

 

the willing one: i met the willing one

before we danced, she slipped off her shoes

her whiskey mouth, my punctured wedding vows

the young kid puzzles at his fading youth

 

chorus

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

nobody’s seen the wind

 nobody’s seen the wind

that doesn’t mean it isn’t there

i stood out on the bridge

and felt it blow thru my hair

and i knew i’d be okay

though i’d lost you as a friend

and i hoped that someday

we’d both fall in love again

 

nobody’s seen your heart

you kept it secret for so long

and nobody has seen mine

though i hid it in a song

but i bent the words of faith

until all that’s left was form

and though i meant to give so much

my intention was stillborn

 

and there was blood and it was dark

though the midwife’s eye did shine

and i held you in my arm

but i could not give you life

 

nobody’s seen the wind

that doesn’t mean it isn’t there

i stood out on the bridge

and felt it blow thru my hair

and i knew i’d be okay

though i’d lost you as a friend

and i hoped that someday

we’d both fall in love again

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

nova scotia

 from the cabot trail to the evangeline

out to the lighthouse road

from the fisheries to the lumber yards

straight back to peggy’s cove

 

i’m sure you’ve got your beauties

but, i swear, i’ve laid beside her

and the northern lights up in your sky

she’ll make those lights shine brighter

 

i know you’ll wanna keep her

i understand but can’t agree

nova scotia, i’m beggin’

send that girl back home to me

 

she hopped upon a trawler

kissed my cheek and waved goodbye

i held her arm a little long

she might’ve seen me cry

 

i’d hardly try to hold her back

i know her ways are free

tonight she’s starin’ at those northern stars

miles away from me

 

i know you’ll wanna keep her...

 

i’ve never been inside her room

but i’ve been inside her heart

i’ve run and run and run to her

we’re still so far apart

 

she may be down below the decks

with a man from halifax

if there’s a god out in the great big sea

i’m beggin’ send her back

 

like peckinpah and his begonia,

he might've strayed but his heart stayed true

i may get lost from time to time

but i’m still coming home to you

 

so when you see the doubt upon my brow

and the signs of fear and shock

pull me close into your breast

and steer clear of the docks

 

i know you’ll wanna keep her...

 

i’ve never been inside her room...

 

from the cabot trail to the evangeline...

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

playground attraction

 playground attraction

won’t you dance with me?

playground attraction

won’t you dance with me?

‘cause your daddy, he ain’t looking

won’t you put your little paw upon my knee?

 

the girls up on the avenue

they just wanna reign you in

the girls up on the avenue

they just wanna reign you in

but i’ve still got some gasoline, i ain’t tired yet

and i’m going for a spin

 

was that an angel calling out your name

“honey, come on home to me”

you stupid fool you missed your train

and it’s as late as it can be

you could hitch on home or crash right here

the cops don’t come this way

but no matter where you sleep tonite

i hope that you’re okay

 

i think i’ll go to baton rouge

gonna have myself a time

i think i’ll go to baton rouge

gonna have myself a time

‘cause your fickle ways have got me down

and i can’t wait for you to change your mind

 

was that an angel calling out your name

“honey, come on home to me”

you stupid fool you missed your train

and it’s as late as it can be

you could hitch on home or crash right here

the cops don’t come this way

but no matter where you sleep tonite

i hope that you’re okay

 

playground attraction

won’t you dance with me?

playground attraction

won’t you dance with me?

‘cause your daddy, he ain’t looking

won’t you put your little paw upon my knee?

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

savannah

down the treasury

pressin’ coins, pressin’ time

rattle rattle as they fall into the bin

lord i wish them coins was mine

 

always trackin’ me

no matter where i go

run down savannah, even louisiana

you follow me i know

 

buried coins up on the hill

can’t remember where

diggin’ ‘round dirt under my nails

lately i don’t care

 

what if these woods caught fire

our dreams went up in smoke

would you lay there laughin’ while the house burned down

another day another dollar another joke

 

* * * * * * * * * *

  

you won’t say my name now

you won’t say my name now

you are just ashamed now

 

the tackle in my pocket hasn't stirred for several months

you say you love me but i’ve got a hunch

about the boy next door with his water bed

the hardest times still lie ahead

 

you won’t say my name now...

 

the window’s painted over but I don’t care

my mood is stale and so’s the air

i’ll have the last laugh wait and see

but for now please let me be!

 

hard times you hardly know

hard luck you never go

down where the people wait

you just lie in bed with a tube of paste

 

you won’t say my name now...

 

i found pictures in your room

ball huggin’, nut luggin’ pantaloons

the past is past, sure, i know

but your youthful sins won’t let you go

 

you won’t say my name now...

 

* * * * * * * * * *

‚Äč
Jon Houlon, Hillside Blue Music, 2002

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